Thursday, November 19, 2009


Friday and Saturday will mark the third and fourth public quilting sessions on the Black Watermen of the Chesapeake quilt and we are getting ready for a very busy next few days. We have seen unprecedented interest in these quilting sessions with people calling from as far away as Rochester, New York and parts of New Jersey all asking how they can be involved. The flurry of publicity provided via the many articles on the quilt and quilting programs over the past week has certainly taken the BoC quilt team by surprise. We are thrilled with the responses and high level of interest we are receiving surrounding the watermen and the quilt.

To prepare for the quilting sessions this weekend, the team has been working late into the night with many people jumping in and helping to work on the quilt until nearly midnight most nights to make sure the quilt is ready for travel and additional images, stitches, and embellishment.  As much as I was bragging about how I was able to avoid quilting last Thursday, I did my part and worked on the quilt until well past 11 p.m. last night stitching around the three inch faces that make up a part of the fabric on the border of the quilt. I made it about halfway down one of the "short" sides of the quilt in three hours. When the quilt measures 11 ft 5 in long and 8 ft 4 in wide, there really isn't a short side.

As we have worked on the quilt we have remarked on some of the interesting numbers attached to the quilt that I can share here on the blog. Some of the figures we have come up with are how many faces are on the quilt, how many safety pins went into the making of the quilt, what is the total number of hours it took to create the quilt, how many people have worked on it. Today I thought I would start sharing some of this information by addressing the question of the ages of the oldest and youngest people working on the quilt. Age does not matter - old or young, everyone who wants to and/or comes into contact with the quilt is asked to add a few stitches. To date, the youngest quilter for the BoC quilt is 4 years old. The image here is of Dr. Gaither working with her 5 year old great-niece Rockelle, a veteran quilter who has contributed to several of Dr. Gaither's works including BoC and J2WH. As far as the oldest, well, I was always taught it isn't nice to ask someone you don't know how old they are. I don't really think people would appreciate a perfect stranger asking them to provide their age to see if they are the oldest person in the room! I know there have been at least a few people in their 80s who have contributed to the quilt in one way or another.

We want this quilt to be a community quilt in every sense of the word and that cannot happen without the contributions of many. If you are planning on coming to one of the quilting sessions and bringing images or stories to be added to the quilt, never fear there are still plenty of spaces on the quilt for your additions. Please come and join us!

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